Good afternoon silenced shooters and welcome back to the latest edition of TFB’s Silencer Saturday. We spend a lot of time analyzing, researching and discussing the best suppressors for your needs within my weekly ramblings – which is obviously important. But we don’t spend enough time on the importance of ammo selection. Even the best silencers in the world can sound subpar with a faulty ammo pairing. It’s like sipping a Chardonnay alongside a rare ribeye steak. So what is the best suppressor ammo for you? Let’s discuss.
SILENCER SATURDAY #73: The Best Suppressor Ammo
Purchasing a silencer is an expensive process – by the time you find the right make and model and pay your NFA tax, you’ve already shelled out between $500 and $1,000. However, consider the fact that that even moderate amounts of shooting will rack up a similar price tag in just a few months. Of course, you can always try a variety of ammo and your silencer purchase is with you for life, but you get the idea. Picking the right ammunition is an important part of suppressor ownership.
As always, “best” is a subjective statement; with a variety of bullet types, weights and loadings, the best suppressor ammo for you may absolutely suck for someone else. So let’s take a look at some criteria that will help you get the best silencer experience
- Muzzle Velocity: When you are chasing those sweet, sweet subsonic decibels, muzzle velocity is one of the most important specifications to review before buying. The speed of sound is a floating target, existing somewhere around 1120 feet per second with about a +/-50 fps swing depending on altitude, humidity, temperature, barometric pressure and fairy magic at the time of testing. While all those variables effect the velocity at which sound passes through the atmosphere, temperature is probably the largest factor. Muzzle velocities printed on ammunition boxes are based on certain environmental and host weapon standards. So realize that a muzzle velocity of 1100 fps as printed on a box may end up being faster or slower depending on the barrel length of your host.
- Bullet Choice: Aside from choosing between target, self defense or hunting rounds, the weight of the bullet will obviously determine muzzle velocity which is mostly important for suppression when you are chasing those Subsonic D’s (band name, I call it). Additionally, heavier bullets usually mean longer bullets. Longer bullets usually need faster rates of twist for improved stability. Bullet instability means a larger chance for baffle strikes. So make sure your host weapon has a barrel rate of twist that matches the weight (really length) for your intended bullet.
- Bullet/Powder Residue: Shooting suppressed isn’t the cleanest activity in the shooting sports world. By definition, a silencer is meant to trap expanding gasses and everything else that goes along with the firing process. So unless you enjoy cleaning lead and powder residue (which I have to admit, given the time, I do) it’s best to look for ammunition that is jacketed, coated or otherwise prevents extra lead deposits. Clean burning powders are also important since the majority of debris can be unburnt materials or other residue. Clean ammunition is especially important in the rimfire world where the round counts are high as are the chances for caked baffles and tubes.
Let’s take a look at some suggestions for factory best suppressor ammo in the rimfire, handgun and rifle worlds. For this experiment I have focused on subsonic loads. As always, suggestions are welcome in the comments section below,
Best Suppressor Ammo – Rimfire
The future of rimfire is here. CCI Clean-22™ uses an exclusive polymer bullet coating to greatly reduce copper and lead fouling in the barrel—without leaving a residue. It also cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent. Both the Sub-Sonic and High Velocity loads feature a 40-grain round nose lead bullet with geometry that’s been optimized for accuracy. With dependable CCI priming and consistent propellant, Clean-22 provides flawless cycling through semi-automatics and all 22 LR firearms.
- Polymer bullet coating greatly reduces lead fouling in the barrel without leaving residue
- Cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent
- 40-grain lead round nose bullets—red for High Velocity, blue for Sub-Sonic
- Optimized bullet geometry for improved accuracy
- Reliable function in semi-automatic firearms
- Great option both casual and competitive shooters
- 1070 fps
Lose the noise—keep the fun. CCI Quiet-22™ Semi-Auto drastically reduces the volume of standard 22 LR rounds, while cycling flawlessly through semi-automatic rifles and handguns. The accurate, low-velocity loads provide the sensation of shooting through a suppressor—without the suppressor—and are perfect for new shooters
- Flawless cycling through semi-automatic rifles and handguns
- Significant reduction in perceived noise
- Excellent accuracy
- Low velocity
- 835 fps
Best Suppressor Ammo – Pistol
If practice isn’t realistic, it’s not really practice. Make range time matter with all-new Syntech® Training Match™, loads that offer the same velocity, trajectory and point of impact as equivalent Federal Premium® Personal Defense® HST® and Tactical® HST duty ammunition. Like all Syntech offerings, Syntech Training Match features the one-of-a-kind TSJ® projectile, which uses a polymer jacket to eliminate metal fouling and drastically reduce damaging barrel heat and friction. Its Federal-exclusive Catalyst™ primer provides hot, reliable ignition without lead or other heavy metals, making Syntech Training Match perfect for indoor ranges.
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Bullet Weight (grains): 147
- Bullet Style: Syntech Jacket FN
- Muzzle Velocity: 1000 fps
- Ballistic Coefficient: .200
- Package Quantity: 50
- Use: Training
- MSRP: $19.95
- Factory Re-manufactured
- 165 Grain
- Round Nose (RN)
- Brass or Nickel
- 9mm (9×19)
- 880 ft/s
Why such a heavy bullet? What do 165-grain bullets do that a 115-grain bullet can’t? The heavy bullets are slower and won’t break the sound barrier, which is 1125 feet per second at 68˚F. It varies depending on temperature. Advertised speeds for our 165-grain bullet are around 800 fps or less from pistols and are not likely to reach the speed of sound even from the longer barrels of submachine guns and carbines. That makes them a good choice for suppressed guns as they will remain subsonic and won’t produce the “crack” sound of little sonic booms that faster bullets do when they break the sound barrier. In fact, most 9mm ammunition with 165-grain and heavier bullets are use for this purpose. That said, 147-grain bullets, which travel around 1000 to 1050 fps from the typical pistol barrel, are not bound to break the sound barrier, either, though some might at some temperatures and from long barrels.
Heavy bullets in 9mm are not just for suppressed guns. Another advantage to heavy bullets is their reported enhanced reliability in taking down steel targets used in various practical competitions. Rounds generally must achieve a power factor of 120 or 125 to qualify for Minor power factor scoring, depending on the sport (IPSC, USPSA, IDPA, Bianchi Cup), and heavy bullets are said to be more effective at knocking down steel plates even when they are at the same power factor as lighter bullets.
So, if you are like some folks who prefer the recoil impulse of heavy bullets because it feels more like a push compared to the snap of light weight bullets. These heavyweights were delightful to shoot, so if you’re looking for soft-shooting, hard-hitting bullets, give them a try.
These will cycle suppressed or un-suppressed for pistols and un-suppressed in all platforms for a super light recoil. The ultimate competition/match shooting round and the quietest subsonic pistol round out there.
Best Suppressor Ammo – Rifle
SIG SAUER subsonic rounds feature a 220gr Sierra Match King Projectile for superior accuracy and minimal dispersion when suppressed. Consistent bullet weight retention with minimal velocity variations results from optimized shell case metallurgy with premium primers. Rounds are precision loaded using state-of-the-art, electromechanical monitoring for geometric conformity.
- AMMO TYPE: JHP
- CALIBER: 300 Blk
- GRAIN WEIGHT: 220 gr
- MUZZLE VELOCITY: 2250 fps
- MUZZLE ENERGY: 1349 ft-lb
- QTY PER PACKAGE: 20
- MSRP: $33.95
300 AAC Blackout is typically chambered in platforms with barrel lengths ranging from 7” to 16”. Until recently, any commercially available ammunition had only been available in one load for each extreme in barrel length. What this means is that 300 Blackout ammunition that is designed to have a muzzle velocity of 1050FPS out of a standard 16” rifle barrel will often have a 900fps or less out of a 7” pistol/SBR barrel. At 100 yards this can result in as much as a 200fps drop making it more difficult for the shooter to get on target. Discreet Ballistics offers its 300 AAC Blackout ammunition in either pistol/SBR (7-11”) or rifle (16”) barrel loads so that velocity is consistently in the 1000fps range no matter which platform the shooter is using.
- Utilizes brand new Jagemann Brass with our headstamp (Apex Subsonic)
- Powder charges consistent to within 0.1 grain
- Industry leading seating depth consistency.
- Hunting Loads utilize the Selous Machined Expander 188gr solid copper projectile which expands to over three times its original diameter upon entering fluid
- Effective range is usually within 75-100 yards – Muzzle velocity between 900-1050fps
Turn down the volume without sacrificing performance with American Eagle® Suppressor ammunition. The cartridges deliver superior accuracy, reliability and cleanliness in suppressed firearms, thanks to carefully selected propellants, bullet weights and profiles. The subsonic loading for the 300 Blackout not only lends itself to better noise reduction through the suppressor, it also reduces it by avoiding the ballistic crack inherent to supersonic loads. In addition, special clean-burning powders to make it easy for shooters to clean their weapons—other conventional ammunition can cause severe fouling in suppressed firearms.
- Caliber: 300 Blackout
- Bullet Weight (grains): 220
- Bullet Style: Open Tip Match
- Muzzle Velocity: 1000
- Package Quantity: 20
- Use: Recreation/Training
- MSRP: $23.95
Published on May 17, 2019 – Suppressed Nation
Dead Air Nomad, Q Trash Panda, Silencer Co Omega & Energetic Armament Vox same day, same conditions, same host, same ammo, if this doesn’t get you excited in the suppressor world, what will! This video will focus on the Ar10 only portion of our metering day. By viewer request here on YouTube and Ar15.com we took our 22lr metering day and turned it into an AR10 (with a few requested cans), a Q Honey Badger for 300bo full size and k cans on a16 & 11.5 AR15 along with 15 22lr being shot on a 17hmr! Huge thank you to Hansohn Brother for this dB filled day and dragging out two B&K 2209 to collect data at the ear and muzzle simultaneously! Was a Godsend for editing. We hope to keep videos and events like these coming and we will list them in the playlist of Suppressor Showdown.
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